BC: Photos and book created by Carol Mills 2012
1: Two cruises to Alaska, first time in June 2008 and the second in June 2012. Both trips began in Vancouver, British Columbia and ended with our flight home from Anchorage, Alaska. In 2008 we stayed an additional 6 days in Alaska after our cruise ended in Whittier, and I've combined photos from both trips. I had a film camera the first time so scanned photos are not as clear as those I took in 2012 with my digital camera. Photos on this page are as we left Vancouver on the Coral Princess.
2: K e t c h i k a n | Creek Street is built along the shores of Ketchikan Creek. It was built over the water because it was simply too difficult to blast away the rocky hills surrounding the creek. The boardwalk is lined with shops, eateries, galleries and museums. Very quaint.
3: Totem Bight State Historical Park
4: Totem Bight Park. Inside a clan house and totem piles.
5: Juneau | As we walked along the path to the Mendenhall Glacier and waterfall, we spotted a young black bear and porcupine.
6: Humpback Whales
7: Orca Whales | Sea Lions And Seal
8: Shrine of St. Therese
9: Juneau, the state capitol, can only be reached by boat or plane. There's so many things to do - whale watching, riding the Mount Roberts Tramway, hiking at the Mendenhall Glacier and Lake, sighting eagles or just shopping in town. We had the BEST halibut fish and chips here! | Cruise ships visit Juneau May through September each year.
10: The Red Dog Saloon is always lively with piano music, Alaska beer and good food. We took the Mt. Roberts tram to the town overlook. Great views at the top!
11: G l a c i e r B a y
12: Glacier Bay and College Fjord were viewed by two days of cruising through these waters.. Marjorie Glacier is a tidewater glacier in Glacier Bay (previous page), and the glaciers named after U.S. colleges are found on these two pages. Different water wildlife in both areas. Eagles in Glacier Bay and arctic terns, sea otters, seals and sea lions in the fjord. The glacier "cave" is unusual and will be collapsed in a couple of weeks. We saw, and heard, "calving" of the Marjorie Glacier. This 21 mile long glacier is stable and not thinning.
13: Co l l e g e F j o r d
14: Skagway became famous during the Yukon Gold Rush of 1898. It's a very small town with a big history. We took the White Pass Railroad to the Yukon in 2008 and in 2012 we rented a car and drove to Carcross in the Yukon. Both trips were filled with amazing scenery! | Skagway
15: Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, this narrow gauge railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The WP&YR climbs almost 3000 feet in just 20 miles and features steep grades of up to 3.9%, cliff-hanging turns of 16 degrees, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The 110 mile WP&YR Railroad was completed with the driving of the golden spike on July 29, 1900 in Carcross, Yukon connecting the deep water port of Skagway Alaska to Whitehorse Yukon and beyond to northwest Canada and interior Alaska.
17: Caribou Crossing Trading Post is found just north of the historic village of Carcross in Yukon Territory, Canada. The Post has a BBQ cafe, the Wildlife Museum collection that contains wolves, bears, caribou, muskoxen, and of course the infamous wooly mammoth. There's dog cart rides and a chance to pet the puppies. | Carcross
18: Carcross, originally known as Caribou Crossing, is an unincorporated community in the Territory of Yukon, Canada on Bennett Lake and Nares Lake and is home to the Carcross/Tagish First Nation. As of the 2011 census it had a population of 289. The modern village began in 1896, during the Klondike Gold Rush. At the time, Caribou Crossing was a popular stopping place for prospectors going to and from the gold fields of Dawson City.
19: Scenery Along the Yukon Highway
22: Often considered the smallest desert in the world, the Carcross Desert is actually a series of sand dunes.
25: Famous Gold Rush Cemetery where outlaw Soapy Smith is buried. He was killed by Frank Reid in a duel in Skagway on the Juneau Company wharf.
26: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a nonprofit organization that takes in injured and orphaned animals year-round and provides spacious enclosures and quality animal care. Animals that cannot be released into the wild are given a permanent home at the center.
28: Portage Glacier | The Portage Glacier Highway is a scenic road connecting Anchorage and the Seward Highway south.
29: Hatcher Pass Road is a scenic 49-mile rugged mountain pass in the Mat-Su Valley, Alaska. The road zigzags through alpine meadows and follows the picturesque Little Susitna River. | The Independence Gold Mine was one of Alaska's top-producing mines before gold mining came to a halt during World War II. The mine was officially closed in 1951 and is now a state historical park.
30: These pages have photos taken around Seward and on the Kenai Fjords National Parks boat tour. We spotted humpback whales, Steller's sea lions, bald eagles, harbor seals, Dall's porpoises, many bird species (kittiwakes, puffins and common murre) and the Aialik Glacier.
33: On our drive back from Wasilla to Anchorage, we stopped to hike the paths in the Palmer Hay Flats Refuge. Such a peaceful, beautiful place.
34: The decline of the need for the sled dogs in Alaska, something Joe Redington Sr., had witnessed first hand, was the inspiration Joe needed to dedicate much of his life to the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. | Joe Redington, Jr. Iditarod racer who took us for a dog cart ride. | The Last Great Race On Earth!
35: In early 1925 a diphtheria epidemic threatened isolated, icebound Nome. A Pony Express-type relay of dog teams was quickly organized. The serum arrived in time to prevent the epidemic and save hundreds of lives. The 20 mushers had covered almost 700 miles in little more than 127 hours (about six days) in temperatures that rarely rose above 40 below zero and winds sometimes strong enough to blow over dogs and sleds. The serum run received worldwide press coverage and the mushers received special gold medals. A statue of Balto, one of the heroic lead dogs, was erected a year later in New York’s Central Park (it’s still there). | Future Racers
36: Mount McKinley, or Denali (Koyukon Athabaskan for "The High One" or "Great One"), in Alaska, is the highest mountain peak in the United States and in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,320 feet (6,194 m) above sea level. Days in which there is not a cloud in the sky and not a breath of wind are rare on Mt. McKinley, thus it is visible about 30 percent of the time. Around 58% of climbers reached the top and more than 100 climbers have lost their lives trying to reach the top of Denali.
37: Denali National Park | The 6 million acre National Park is home to Alaska's wildlife such as grizzly bear, moose, wolves, Dall sheep and caribou. We watched (from the Park's bus) a grizzly mama bear try to bring her cubs across a stream, but with no success - the cubs won out! Pictures are on the following pages.
38: Fairbanks | Anchorage | Houston
39: Sunset on Mount McKinley | Talkeetna | Talkeetna was settled as a mining town and Alaska Commercial Company trading post in 1896. The core downtown area is classified as a National Historic Site, with buildings dating from the early 1900s including Nagley's General Store, Fairview Inn and the Talkeetna Roadhouse..
41: Heading home...